The process of bamboo crafts starts from the plantation. Bamboos are cultivated by farmers either in forest or in homesteads. Bamboo plant needs sufficient water supply to get evergreen plantation throughout the year. The process of plantation includes following steps:
• Clearing the Planting Area:
The area to be planted is cleared off weeds and other plants with the help of plough. Taking a bamboo stakes marking is done for planting bamboos at equal distance. Small pots in which the bamboos are planted are dug after every 1 meter.
• Plantation of the Bamboo:
Bamboo plants are bought from the nursery in small polybag pots. These bags are carefully removed so as not to damage the root system. The pants are placed in the dug pots covered with soil up to the same level as in polybag pots. Manure made up of neem fruit waste is sprinkled in order to prevent attacks from wild pigs, ants and other insects.
• Care and Maintenance:
Though the bamboo plant does not require much maintenance, still the plants should be checked whether they have been planted properly or not. The plantation area should be free of weeds and other plants. Bamboo can also be guarded by creating fence around it. Occasionally fertilizers should be put for proper growth.
Various bamboos found in Wayanad are as follows:• Bambusa Vulagaris Green:
These bamboos are green in color with yellow strips. They are hard and can be used for any purpose.• Bambusa Vulgaris Yellow:
This is the common variety of bamboo, which are yellow in color with green strips.• Dendrocalamus Giganteus:
These are commonly called as elephant bamboo. These are mainly used in various crafts. Elephant bamboo doesn’t grow in forest.• Thyrsostachys Siamensis:
These ornamental bamboos are locally called as monastery bamboo.• Guadua Angustifolia:
These are the South American variety of bamboo. Mainly used in architectural purpose.• Malocanna Baccifera:
These are from Assam.• Bambusa Var. Wamin:
These bamboos have a distinctive, white leave and thick white strips.• Pseudo Oxytenanthera:
These are thin bamboo used to make hooks.• Ochlandra Travancoria:
It’s a variety of reed.• Dendrocalamus Asper:
These types are bamboos are mainly used to collect the shoots for further bamboo plantation• Ochlandra Scriptoria:
This variety s only found in Wayanad. It was traditionally used for writing; today they are used make pens. They are grown along the stream and prevent soil erosion. These bamboos are thin with the maximum thickness goes upto 2 inches.• Dendrocalamus Longispathus:
These are very strong bamboos used for making hooks, sheds and rafts• Dendrocalamus Strictus:
These are very strong bamboo used in construction• Bambusa Balcooa:
These bamboos are planted commercially and used for fire woods since the carbon content is high in it.• Bambusa Vulagris var. Wamin:
Commonly called as Buddha belly. These are the warm variety of bamboo.• Bambusa Tulda:
These bamboos are used to make agarbatti.• Bambusa Multiplex:
These are the garden variety of bamboo.• Dendrocalamus Brandisii:
These are strong bamboo used as support poles. Reeds are more suitable for making mats or curtains as they are straight and the internodes distance is more.